tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Tue Nov 24 17:02:51 2009

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Re: pu'jIn

Andrà MÃller (

The "distinction" between {XY} and {X Y} might cause a problem.
Is there any known semantic or phonological or syntactic or morphological
(read: ANY) difference between a nounâ??noun construction and a compound in
Klingon, besides the orthography?
Might {X Y} be a possessive construction actually? Can {X} in {X Y} be
modified by suffixes or even adjectives? If so, then it might not be
(linguistically) appropriate to call them compounds, but rather possessive
constructions or something similar.

- André

2009/11/25 David Trimboli <>

> Christopher Doty wrote:
> >> It says "(building) plan/map making science." First, I have to figure
> >> out what you mean by "(building)." If I just saw {pu'jIn chenmoHghach
> >> QeD}, I'd think "cartography." Now, one might think of "building
> >> cartography" as "architecture," but it didn't come to my mind
> >> immediately. If someone told you out of the blue that he practices
> >> "building cartography," you'd at least have to pause to figure out what
> >> he meant.
> >
> > You've assumed for this that pu'jIn really means map, and is only by
> > extension used to refer to building plans.  If the two meanings are
> > equal, there's no reason to prefer
> Okay, let's make everything work better by talking about the person
> rather than the science. A {pu'jIn chenmoHwI'} is a person who makes
> diagrams of places or things. So a {qach pu'jIn chenmoHwI'}, is a
> building that makes diagrams of places or things. :)
> No, we have to reorganize the way we parse these nouns. It's not about a
> kind of {pu'jIn chenmoHwI'}, it's about the maker of {qach pu'jIn}. That
> makes more sense.
> Loading up on nouns in a noun phrase may make logical sense, but it's
> often difficult to parse.
> >> TKD 3.4: The nounâ??noun construction
> >>    Some combinations of two (or more) nouns in a row are so common as to
> >>    have become everyday words. These are the compound nouns (as
> >>    discussed in section 3.2.1). In addition, it is possible to combine
> >>    nouns in the manner of a compound noun to produce a new construct
> >>    even if it is not a legitimate compound noun ("legitimate" in the
> >>    sense that it would be found in a dictionary.)
> >>       [Then the discussion of how the nounâ??noun construction works.]
> >>
> >> In other words, compound nouns appear in dictionaries. To make your own
> >> compounds, use the nounâ??noun construction.
> >> In addition, Okrand doesn't use compound nouns in sentences unless he's
> >> already put the compound noun in the word lists, or explicitly tells us
> >> it's a word. When he wants one noun to modify another noun (i.e., to
> >> play a genitive role), he uses the nounâ??noun construction. For instance,
> >> KGT gives us {baS 'In} "metal drum," not *{baS'In}.
> >>
> >> There are a couple of words he waffles on. I believe we have both
> >> {ro'qegh 'Iwchab} and {ro'qegh'Iwchab}, for example. In cases like this
> >> we must assume that either is correct; we cannot "enforce" the use of
> >> one over the other.
> >
> > ** ... it is possible to combine nouns in the manner of a compound
> > noun to produce a new construct even if it is not a legitimate
> > compound noun ("legitimate" in the sense that it would be found in a
> > dictionary.)**
> >
> > To me, this means that nouns can be strung together at will, assuming
> > that the sense is reasonable.
> >
> > Perhaps we're having an issue with "compound" versus "noun-noun." I
> > don't honestly see a difference, but I'm fully willing to admit that
> > what I said above wasn't a compound: sure, it doesn't occur in
> > dictionaries.  But it is a perfectly valid noun-noun(-noun etc.)
> > construction.
> A nounâ??noun construction is formed as {X Y}, not {XY}. There is a space
> between the nouns; they are separate words. A compound noun is a single
> word.
> What you said *is* a perfectly valid nounâ??noun construction when {QeD}
> is its own word.
> So yes, you can string nouns together at will as separate nouns in
> nounâ??noun constructions, but you cannot form compound nouns at will;
> those must come from dictionaries.
> >> Easy there, buddy! I'm on your side.
> >
> > Well, sorry, then.  I've gotten rather used to being attacked on here,
> > so I just assumed that you were doing the same.  Again, apologies.
> meqlIj vIyaj 'ej vIpIHpu'. qay'be'.
> --
> SuStel
> tlhIngan Hol MUSH

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